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DART+ (DART Expansion)



  • When they came up with the circuitous St. Stephen's Green routing, back at the start of this century, the proposed cost was 1.2 billion euro, and it stayed at around 1.2-1.3 billion until about 2007.

    Of course, there was an earlier, more direct proposal, via Temple Bar, in the 1970s, but I don't know what the projected costs then were.

  • Given the cost it has now escalated too, couldnt they just send it the shortest possible route and provide pedestrian tunnels to connect with dart and luas if needs be ?

  • Pretty sure I read in the latest consultation document that they're talking about a second pedestrian bridge alongside the rail bridge to provide access from Conyngham Road.

  • Let's face it, places like Celbridge are already served by rail and it's not as if IE are even maxing out current capacity with services via the PPT. If Dart+ West isn't going to deliver extra stations and open up extra neighbourhoods to public transport then the whole exercise is kinda pointless. Theoretical increases in capacity aren't worth the effort if you're not willing to increase services.

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  • The basic idea of the DART Underground was very good, and apart from its other functions it would have provided an east-west spine across the main body of the city such that any worthwhile north-south LUAS or metro project could reasonably have connected with the DART somewhere.

    We can see the absence of this spine already with the malarkey of the metrolink taking a detour to Tara Street to integrate with the DART. If the DART Underground had already been built through the city, no Tara Street detour would be necessary to integrate the DART and the metro. And there are knock-on effects: for example, because of the Tara Street detour, it seems that proper integration with the LUAS Red line is not possible, so LUAS passengers will have to walk about 300 metres to get to the metro. This is not, in pretty well anybody's book, integration.

    I should say, for the readers, that I have always favoured building the DART Underground through College Green, which has buckets of space (it's basically a six-lane road) and which the city is keen to pedestrianise, with an interchange between DART and Metrolink there.

    But even under the old St. Stephen's Green interchange plan, and with the link-up and PPT, the Red Line and the metro would have been properly integrated (at O'Connell Street), the metro and Green LUAS would have been properly integrated at two locations (O'Connell Street and St. Stephen's Green, the northside/Hazelhatch DART and Metro would have been integrated (at St. Stephen's Green), and the southside/western DART would have been integrated at Drumcondra.

    No detours necessary.

    It will certainly be interesting to see how the plans to build those eight LUAS lines go, and how they all integrate with each other, with the metrolink and with the DART, in the absence of the DART Underground project.

  • No. Because a redesign would cost a significant amount and delay everything by more years. Your suggested changes would not safe anything worthwhile.

    Just get the damn thing built.

  • There are a large number of additional bus routes launching at the end of this month under BusConnects that will serve stations such as Hazelhatch, Adamstown, and Clondalkin and which will be connecting estates and areas to stations on the DART+ Southwest route that have had no public transport connection to the rail line before now.

    That alone will open up the rail line as a new alternative commuting option for significant numbers of people.

    Park and Ride facilities at Hazelhatch, Adamstown, Kishogue and Clondalkin will also facilitate people to use the DART line if increased frequency is provided.

    Just because two stations aren’t opening doesn’t mean the service should not be upgraded.

  • If that's the case, why aren't Irish Rail planning additional services through PPT to facilitate all these additional passengers? At the moment it's just a few trains in the morning and afternoon peak.

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  • The Maynooth line is the most in need of extra services. They don't have enough trains to add capacity anywhere at the minute, which is why they're purchasing 41 ICRs.

  • As above there is already an all day PPT service.

    However, they are still short of trains and drivers to drive them - remember that it takes 18 months to pass out a train driver, but the good news is that there are drivers in training as we speak, and new rolling stock is in build or about to be ordered.

    And there will certainly be drivers available for when DART+ happens, which is what I’m talking about.

  • The Kildare services are not used very well, problems with accessibility to the stations and lack of parking if the option was to drive; anecdotal from my colleagues who would get the bus but prefer a train. You'd have to be at the station really early to get a parking space.

    The transport section of Kildare County Council's website is called 'Roads', can make your own conclusion from that.

  • Well, they aren't responsible for rail, or bus, or station parking. The only omission there is cycling which they are responsible for and have only started to vaguely do anything about recently.

  • They're responsible for land use planning and delivering a sensible network of streets to access amenities. Unfortunately a few decades of road only focused planning makes it really difficult to change course.

    That said, they don't seem to be trying that hard. Oldbridge Park is currently under construction right next to Sallins/Naas Station, hardly a case for a 10min service frequency DART.

  • Dreadful atm. 1 TPH each way in the evening after 9. 😤

  • But this goes to prove my point, current capacity constraints are limited by rolling stock and staff shortages - Dart+ isn't needed to fix all of that. I'm not against Dart+, but the justification for Dart+ are problems that won't be solved by the Dart+ project (or could be solved without it). Worse still, the NTA could complete Dart+ SW and we might still have the same rubbish timetable as now. Of course it makes sense to go ahead with the project, but the main benefit of such a project would be to provide a commuter type service with frequent stops ...that means new stations - new stations is the one thing that would benefit most from this project - yet it is strangely being left out.

  • The point of DART+ is to improve the carbon footprint by electrification, and increase service capacity through re-signalling and faster acceleration/deceleration of new electric rolling stock.

    None of the above is achievable any other way.

    A large rolling stock order is part of the project, with a new depot near Kilcock - and these will be electric - not much use if you don't electrify the railway.

    By the time DART+ is completed, the rolling stock will have been delivered, the drivers trained, and we will hopefully have returned to some form of normal working, which means far more commuters. There hopefully also will have been significant amounts of new housing completed near Adamstown and Kishogue stations (which will be opened).

    For the record I never said that Kylemore or Cabra stations should not happen - they should of course. However, I was criticising another post, which, along with earlier ones from the same poster, was suggesting that DART+ South West should be abandoned just because those two particular stations weren't happening at present. I happen to think that is just nonsensical given the large scale housing plans along the line.

  • I'm in the build stations now camp as well.

    Kylemore Station needs track alignment; they better be building in all the accommodation works now to facilitate future construction. Otherwise it's less likely to happen when a load of DART+ services are already running and disruption is caused.

  • Yikes. A quoted price of between €5 billion to €6 billion to build Dart Underground/Dart+ Tunnel from Hugh Cregan's estimates are very eyewatering to take in.

    I would take it that the global supply chain issues are the big major problem in making that price go high for us as it may reflect current market conditions at this point. And that level of inflation is being seen right now because of COVID which is being felt right now right across our own economy.

    The prices all of the materials needed to build this massive project could be an quite an demanding challenge to overcome within this current period especially with combating climate change on top of it. All I can say right now is damn you COVID; you destructive git.

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  • ??? DART+ Tunnel is not due to be delivered until 2042. Even if they start it in the early 2030s any Covid related disruption right now will be a distant memory (as will Brexit disruption).

  • I notice in the Indo article someone quoted that they will order "electric/battery electric" units for DART+.

    Does battery electric mean that some of the trains could travel under electric power without overhead wiring, even if it's for a short distance?

  • That's right, likely they'll have charging infrastructure at Drogheda. So the battery will charge under the wires and then be used for the gap. 5 years ago it wasn't even conceivable from a technology perspective. Still seems aspirational with the distances involved.

    Once the overhead lines are all up that batteries can be removed. Or battery rolling stock used to extend further to Dundalk, Wicklow, Kilcock and Naas.

    Our rolling stock is all relatively new so we should get good cascading benefits from buying new trains; moving diesel trains in Dublin onto regional commuter routes and so on.

  • Given current bond spread they could probably raise a €10b bond with an interest rate of under 2%. Even at 2% over 20 years that would cost state €200m/year to finance. The NTMA would probably finance that with bunch of different Bond maturity dates to get even more optimal rate over such a period. Of course any underground system that will be built will be in operational use to at least 100 years.

    In case above the €1.5b raised has an annual interest bill of €19m/year eg. 1.26%/year across the whole sum.

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  • Good to see real progress on a big rail project. Still not clear on how Glasnevin is going to be sorted. It seems that DART+ West is going to be construction phase long before metrolink is. They're hardly going to build a large DART interchange and then dig it up to build a metro station underneath 2 years later.